New York Rock ‘n’ Roll…. please, meet Italian home cooking. That’s right, Lou Reed and Linguini. Patti Smith and Puttanesca. Ramones and Rigatoni! This is Franks, where the classic cool of Manhattan’s East Village crashes straight into your Uncle’s authentic lounge room for some high voltage stomach stretching. The big leather jackets, asymmetrical fringes and ankle high booties are right at home amongst the chandeliers, red velvet drapes and candlelit table tops.
I was introduced to this Second Ave institution on my recent trip to New York City. ”We have to go to Franks!” was the no-nonsense recommendation. And lucky for me it was only on my second day, after trekking through Nolita and Soho that we strolled pass a quaint picket fence, below a charming fire escape and entered into a trip defining establishment.
Once inside and positioned on our high stools, I became over excited absorbing the lively atmosphere. My attention span, now as chaotic as the Beastie Boys track blaring through the speakers focused on warm olives, family prints within golden frames, stain-glass windows, slabs of mozzarella, prosciutto/melon, fresh bruschetta and lace curtains. I learned very quickly from our Venetian waiter that it’s Frank himself, chopping with passion and stirring with love out the back. It’s been that way since they opened in the late 90s. Perfect!
With a wonderfully spoilt for choice menu I found it difficult to choose a main event, but managed to settle on the delicious Rigatoni Al Ragu. If only it was socially acceptable to lick the bowl clean. Equally as problematic was the selection of alcohol, though I couldn’t pass on a glass of ice cold Birra Morreti on-tap… and ended up loving all three of them.
My time at Franks was one of those joyous travel experiences where everything just seems to click and you don’t stop smiling. With simple, tasty food, good booze and a party vibe it was just how I wanted to feel at the beginning of my New York City adventure.
Even after stumbling out the slim door frame and hailing a yellow cab, I was already visualising the next time.
Frank is located at : 88 Second Ave NYC
Hours are: Monday to Friday 10:30am to 1:00am, Saturday 10:30am to 2:00am, Sunday 10:30am to 1:00am